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A pro-style offense in American football is any offensive scheme that resembles those predominantly used at the professional level of play in the National Football League (NFL), in contrast to those typically used at the collegiate or high school level. Pro-style offenses are fairly common at top-quality colleges but much less used at the high school level. The term should not be confused with a pro set, which is a specific formation that is used by some offenses at the professional level.
Generally, pro-style offenses are more complex than typical college or high school offenses. They are balanced, requiring offensive lines that are adept at both pass and run blocking, quarterbacks (QBs) with good decision-making abilities, and running backs (RBs) who are capable of running between the tackles. Offenses that fall under the pro-style category include the West Coast offense, the Air Coryell offense, and the Erhardt-Perkins offensive system.
Often, pro style offenses use certain formations much more commonly than the air raid, run and shoot, flexbone, spread, pistol, or option offenses. Pro-style offenses typically use the fullback (FB) and TEs much more commonly than offenses used at the collegiate or high school levels.
Part of the complexity of the offense is that teams at the professional level often employ multiple formations and are willing to use them at any point during an actual game. One example might be that a team uses a Strong I formation run (FB lined up where the TE is located on the line of scrimmage) on 1st Down followed up by a running play out of the Ace formation on second down before attempting a pass on 3rd down out of a two-WR shotgun formation.
Another aspect of the complexity is that the running game is primarily built on zone blocking or involves a power run scheme. Both of these require an offensive line that is very athletic, one play they could be trying to zone block a Linebacker, and the following one could be power blocking a defensive line. Most of the blocking schemes involve a series of rules, or a system in which they operate their blocks. The passing game as a result often employs play-action, often with the QB dropping back from under center, as a means of passing the ball while building on the running game.
Coaches who make the transition from the NFL to the NCAA as head coaches often bring with them their pro-style offenses. Such examples include Charlie Weis (former HC at Kansas), Dave Wannstedt (former HC at Pittsburgh), Bill O'Brien (former HC at Penn State). One positive aspect of employing a pro-style offense is that it can help players make transitions from the college level to the professional level quicker as a result of their familiarity with the system's complexity.
|Start||End||Team||Head coach||Offensive coordinator|
|1984||1984||Minnesota Vikings||Les Steckel||Jerry Burns|
|1997||1999||Tennessee Oilers/Titans||Jeff Fisher||Les Steckel|
|2000||2001||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Tony Dungy||Les Steckel|
|2001||—||Minnesota Vikings||Dennis Green||Sherman Lewis|
|2001||2005||Minnesota Vikings||Mike Tice||Sherman Lewis and Scott Linehan|
|2011||2013||Tennessee Titans||Mike Munchak||Chris Palmer and Dowell Loggains|
|2012||2012||Chicago Bears||Lovie Smith||Mike Tice|
|2012||2013||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Greg Schiano||Mike Sullivan|
A running back (RB) is a member of the offensive backfield in gridiron football. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback to rush the ball, to line up as a receiver to catch the ball, and block. There are usually one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a halfback, a wingback or a fullback. A running back will sometimes be called a "feature back" if he is the team's starting running back.
A linebacker is a playing position in gridiron football. Linebackers are members of the defensive team, and line up approximately three to five yards behind the line of scrimmage and behind the defensive linemen. They represent the "middle ground" of defenders, playing closer to the line of scrimmage than do the defensive backs, but further back than do the defensive linemen.
Strategy forms a major part of American football. Both teams plan many aspects of their plays (offense) and response to plays (defense), such as what formations they take, who they put on the field, and the roles and instructions each player are given. Throughout a game, each team adapts to the other's apparent strengths and weaknesses, trying various approaches to outmaneuver or overpower their opponent in order to win the game.
An option offense is an older American football offensive system in which a key player has several "options" of how each play will proceed based upon the actions of the defense. Traditionally, option-based offenses rely on running plays, though most mix in forward passes from an option formation as a change of pace.
American football positions have slowly evolved over the history of the sport. From its origins in early rugby football to the modern game, the names and roles of various positions have changed greatly, some positions no longer exist, and others have been created to fill new roles.
A formation in football refers to the position players line up in before the start of a down. There are both offensive and defensive formations and there are many formations in both categories. Sometimes, formations are referred to as packages.
Single set back is an offensive base formation in American Football which requires only one running back lined up about five yards behind the quarterback. There are many variations on single back formations including two tight ends and two wide receivers, one tight end/three wide receivers, etc. The running back can line up directly behind the quarterback or offset either the weak side or the strong side.
In American football, a T formation is a formation used by the offensive team in which three running backs line up in a row about five yards behind the quarterback, forming the shape of a "T".
A halfback (HB) is an offensive position in American football, whose duties involve lining up in the backfield and carrying the ball on most rushing plays, i.e. a running back. When the principal ball carrier lines up deep in the backfield, and especially when that player is placed behind another player, as in the I formation, that player is instead referred to as a tailback.
In American football, the specific role that a player takes on the field is referred to as their "position." Under the modern rules of American football, both teams are allowed 11 players on the field at one time and have "unlimited free substitutions," meaning that they may change any number of players during any "dead ball" situation. This has resulted in the development of three task-specific "platoons" of players within any single team: the offense, the defense, and the so-called 'special teams'. Within these three separate "platoons", various positions exist depending on the jobs that the players are doing.
The flexbone formation It is an offensive formation in American football that includes a quarterback, five offensive linemen, three running backs, and varying numbers of tight ends and wide receivers. The flexbone formation is a predominant turnover formation derived from the wishbone formation and it features a quarterback under center with a fullback lined up directly behind the quarterback. There are two smaller running backs called slotbacks aligned behind the line of scrimmage on each side of the offensive line. The slotbacks are sometimes incorrectly referred to as wingbacks. But in order to be a wingback, there must be a guard, tackle and tight end all on one side of the center on the line of scrimmage and then the wingback off the line of scrimmage.
The triple option is an American football play used to offer several ways to move the football forward on the field of play. The triple option is based on the option run, but uses three players who might run with the ball instead of the two used in a standard option run.
The spread offense is an offensive scheme in gridiron football that typically places the quarterback in the shotgun formation, and "spreads" the defense horizontally using three-, four-, and even five-receiver sets. Used at every level of the game including professional, college, and high school programs across the US and Canada, spread offenses often employ a no-huddle approach. Some implementations of the spread also feature wide splits between the offensive linemen.
In American football, a play is a close-to-the-ground plan of action or strategy used to move the ball down the field. A play begins at either the snap from the center or at kickoff. Most commonly, plays occur at the snap during a down. These plays range from basic to very intricate. Football players keep a record of these plays in a playbook.
The Veer is an option running play often associated with option offenses in American football, made famous at the collegiate level by Bill Yeoman's Houston Cougars. It is currently run primarily on the high school level, with some usage at the collegiate and the professional level where the Veer's blocking scheme has been modified as part of the zone blocking system. The Veer is an effective ball control offense that can help minimize mismatches in a game for a team. However, it can lead to turnovers with pitches and handoff option reads.
A fullback (FB) is a position in the offensive backfield in gridiron football, and is one of the two running back positions along with the halfback. Fullbacks are typically larger than halfbacks and in most offensive schemes the fullback's duties are split among power running, pass catching, and blocking for both the quarterback and the other running back.
In American football, Air Coryell is the offensive scheme and philosophy developed by former San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell. The offensive philosophy has been also called the "Coryell offense" or the "vertical offense".
The following terms are used in American football, both conventional and indoor. Some of these terms are also in use in Canadian football; for a list of terms unique to that code, see Glossary of Canadian football.
The run and shoot offense is an offensive system for American football which emphasizes receiver motion and on-the-fly adjustments of receivers' routes in response to different defenses. It was conceived by former high school coach Glenn "Tiger" Ellison and refined and popularized by former Portland State offensive coordinator Mouse Davis.